Installing Vinyl Gutters

Lightweight vinyl can be assembled by one person but, because most work involves handling long lengths up a ladder, it's best to enlist a helper if you can. Move your ladder to the work; do not reach across. See p.195 for details on choosing an appropriate pitch for gutters. The steps show how to fit a straight run of standard lengths of vinyl gutter. If you need to turn corners, simply use the same principles but attach corner sections at appropriate places.

TOOLS / MATERIALS needed: Basic Took Kit


A. Attach a support clip high up on the fascia board, at the opposite end from where the running outlet will be. You will probably find it easier to tighten screws near the roof covering with a hand-held screwdriver rather than a power drill-driver.

B. Position a clip at the other end of the eaves, lower than the first and at the correct height to give the necessary pitch.

C. Tie a string line between the two clips, to form a guide line.

D. Make sure the string line is taut and isn't caught anywhere, especially if it has to travel around a corner.

E. Check the pitch with a level. If it isn't as you want it, adjust it by slightly repositioning the lower bracket.


A. Attach a third clip 3 ft (1 m) away from the first one, with the string line just touching the top edge of the bracket.

B. Attach a union bracket 3 ft (1 m) along from the third clip. Then attach alternate clips and brackets until within 3 ft (1 m) of the end.

C. Remove the string line. Then clip the running outlet into the last, lowest support clip.


A. Position the first whole length of gutter by snapping one end of it into the highest clip.

B. Snap a stop end onto the gutter before moving the ladder to clip the rest of the length in place.

C. Snap the gutter into the next clip, and then insert its end into the first union bracket.

D. Snap the next length into the union bracket. Continue installing whole lengths until near the end.


A. Mark where you need to cut the last piece of gutter to length. Use an off-cut of gutter to guide you for a straight cut with a panel saw.

B. File the cut end of the gutter to remove burs.

C. Position the last piece of gutter and clip it into the running outlet. Clip a stop end onto the running outlet if it needs one. If the roof overhangs the edge of the house by a long way, you may need to attach a short length of gutter the other side of the outlet, angled down from the eaves into the running outlet.


Before you begin to install gutters, assemble as much of the gutter system as you can while you are on the ground. Working on the ground minimizes the amount of work you will have to do later while you are standing on a ladder or scaffolding.


A. Assemble a bend to connect the gutter with the downspout, using two offset bends with a length of downspout between them. Adjust the middle section of downspout so that the main downspout will lie against the wall.

B. Push the bend into the bottom of the running outlet to fit it in place. Then push the downspout into the offset bend.


A. Hold a bracket in place at the top of the downspout and draw through the fastener holes to mark the wall.

B. Use a masonry bit to drill pilot holes at the marked points. Insert wall plugs into them.

C. Screw the bracket into position over the downspout.

D. Secure more brackets every 3 ft (1 m) along the length of the downspout.


Set up a string line for metal gutters just as shown left for vinyl. Cast-iron gutters will not have union brackets, but lightweight aluminum, shown right, does. Some systems have standard running outlets. The system shown here involves using a hole cutter to make holes in gutter lengths, allowing running outlets to be positioned as required.

Joining lengths: The union bracket has a rubber gasket to create a watertight seal. Attaching a stop end: The stop end has a rubber seal, and clips into place. Using a running outlet: The running outlet clips over and around the gutter profile, where the hole has been cut.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008 16:29 PST